Nicole Pomarico
February 21, 2018 7:36 am

On Wednesday, news broke that Wendy Williams has been diagnosed with Graves’ disease when she announced that she’d be taking a three-week hiatus from her show, so she can rest and put her health first. If you don’t know what the disease is, it might seem a bit scary to you. Can you die from Graves’ disease? How serious is Williams’ condition? Fortunately, it sounds like something that can be managed.

According to WebMD, Graves’ disease is an immune system disorder that often includes hyperthyroidism as a symptom. It’s most common in women over 40, which puts 53-year-old Williams in that category. Other symptoms include anxiety, tremors, and weight loss, as well as bulging eyes and an irregular heartbeat. Some people will also notice thick, red skin on their feet, which is called Graves’ dermopathy.

People don’t usually die from Graves’ disease, but as Medicine Net explains, it can lead to heart issues if it remains untreated. In rare cases, it can become a terminal “thyroid storm,” which is why it’s important for those coping with Graves’ disease to make their health a priority as they work to get diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

Even though people don’t regularly die from Graves’ disease alone, it’s important to have it diagnosed and treated to manage the patient’s symptoms. And fortunately, treatment can usually be achieved with prescription medications — although surgery is necessary in some cases.

Graves’ disease doesn’t have to be the end of life as you know it, and it sounds like plenty of people are able to lead happy, full lives even after their diagnosis. If you think you’re experiencing symptoms of Graves’ disease, don’t be afraid to get them checked out. The earlier it’s caught, the earlier you can start managing it.

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